Retreats with God
He leads me beside the still waters...He restores my soul...
It seems like one of the most common reasons people shy away from being bold for Jesus is their lack of confidence in their own knowledge of God's Word or being able to articulate it to someone else.
Although this is one that often comes up, I've noticed lately that there are some other lies that I sometimes feel tempted to believe about sharing my faith that, for a long time, went undetected and I never even noticed I was thinking them until God brought them to my attention. I felt compelled to share these because I started to wonder if maybe others have these same thoughts lurking in their minds beneath the surface.
I admit I often feel weak. Whether it's through battles in my mind, such as struggles with impulsivity, worry, or insecurity, or even feeling physically weak through chronic illness in the past, weakness is something I have certainly experienced.
Every time I find myself in those situations, regardless of the cause, condemning thoughts start to arise. The usual lie that I am tempted to believe is that I am too weak to be used as God's vessel. If I am struggling with sin, I tend to think that there is no way God can use me and I might as well continue being weak because I can't seem to get past it. When I'm feeling physically unwell for a period of time, I tend to tell myself there's not much I can do to serve God because I am just not able. The enemy tries to prey on our weaknesses. However, God graciously reveals His truth to me to combat these lies through His Word.
Even when the sun shines and we are grateful for every blessing, there are times when some of us may feel an overwhelming sense of a heavy burden and unimaginable fatigue. Sometimes it can stem from our circumstances, like a disaster or loss. Other times, it can be a brain chemistry issue, hormonal imbalance, or even some other unknown reason. Regardless of the cause, you may have felt drawn to this post because you are experiencing these feelings yourself, have experienced them in the past and want to make sense of them, or maybe you're trying to understand what it's like for the sake of a loved one.
One of the main ways that I have always experienced a close connection with God is through music. Something about hearing biblical truth put to melody opens up my heart to experience His love and paves the way for my quiet time. I love corporate worship at church and individual worship when I can lift up the Lord on my own.
When I've been listening lately, I've been starting to look up and meditate on all the scripture references that I hear in the songs to truly grasp the treasure of God's truth and "digest" it more. So I sat down to listen to a song, jotted down all the related scriptures I could find, and then listened to the song again with a heart that was full of the Word and ready to really pour out His praises.
My mind isn’t always a peaceful place. Yet our lives as believers are to be characterized by peace. If I’m honest, “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” (Colossians 3:15) just sometimes feels unattainable, even though it's what I long for most.
But I know God’s will for us is to experience His “perfect peace” when our minds are fixed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). When I look at God’s promises, I know He has given me everything I need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). And too, one way the Holy Spirit shows up in us is through peace (see Galatians 5:22). Yet I still battle anxiety.
Sometimes I feel anxious for seemingly no reason at all. The reality is that there are thoughts that go with those feelings, even if I am unaware of what those thoughts are. So those jittery, sweaty feelings when my voice trembles and my face becomes flushed are connected to some event, specifically, my THOUGHTS about the event.
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Hi, I'm Tessa! I suppose I could sum myself up by confessing I am a crazy cat lady, amateur sewist, nature lover, bookworm, fabric fanatic, mental health advocate, craft enthusiast, tea addict, and an 'old soul.' Jesus is my all in all, and I'm so thankful that His love NEVER fails.